Georgia Pellegrini isn’t the typical image of a hunter. She was once more accustomed to martini on Wall Street than a back woods duck hunt, but after a stint at Wellesley and Harvard she enrolled in the French Culinary Institute and discovered a love for local, sustainable, farm to table cuisine that led her down an unexpected path.
While cooking with top chefs at Blue Hill at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York, Pellegrini was sent outside to kill five turkeys for that night’s dinner. Suddenly face-to-face with the meat she was preparing, she says she was forced to reevaluate her relationship with food. The result is Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time (Da Capo Press, 2011).
The book chronicles Pellegrini’s evolution from buying plastic-wrapped meat at a supermarket to killing a wild boar with a .22-250 caliber rifle, a journey, she says, toward understanding not only where our food comes from, but what kind of life it lived before it reached the table.
Girl Hunter ranges with Pellegrini on the back of an ATV chasing wild hogs along the banks of the Mississippi to a dove hunt with beer and BBQ, to hunting deer, duck and more. Each chapter ends with step-by-step instructions on how to age and truss meat, as well as a number of recipes that make use of every edible part of the animal, such as Partridge with Pancetta in a Orange Brandy Sauce, Apple Juice Smoked Ribs, Buttermilk Fried Rabbit, and Duck and Cheery Sauce.
Part memoir, part cookbook, Girl Hunter offers a provocative look at our relationship with food, particularly wild game.
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